Photo by Amy Wallen Photography
I grew up in an abusive home and I thought I deserved all the abuse. As an adult, I went from relationship to relationship, choosing the wrong men and looking for love in all the wrong places. Because of my history of abuse, my definition of love was skewed. I didn’t understand what it was. I accepted things I shouldn’t have and was in relationships that were not real love.
After my four children were grown, I went through the Experiencing God Bible study. Then I discipled someone else through this same Bible study. Not long after, I moved in with my daughter and began going to church with her. Her church was doing the Experiencing God Bible study and I did the study again. God took me through this Bible study three times with a purpose. He knew what I needed. The first time grounded me and helped me dedicate time to prayer and study. I was taught how to hear God. The second time taught me to share and teach, preparing me for missions. The third time taught me to rejoice and lean into God even closer. It also ignited a deep longing for missions.
I decided to go on a mission trip with a church group to the mountains of Kentucky. Before I left, a lady told me she felt I would be used by God to minister to the missionaries. I am a licensed massage therapist and when I arrived in the mountains with my massage table, the director of the ministry said, “I have been praying for you for eight years!” The director had experienced unrelenting pain for many years and my massage therapy was very helpful to him. God did use me to help . . . but He wasn’t finished.
I ended up staying longer in the mountains than the rest of our group. I felt God was calling me to missionary work but I didn’t know what that meant. The director and his wife took me to a beautiful farm which was part of the ministry. I felt God’s presence so strongly there. The moment I stood overlooking the stables at the ministry’s farm, I remembered a vision God had given me three and a half years before. It was in that moment that a rushing wave of love washed over me. I knew without a doubt that God loved me. His love shone through powerfully in this moment. When you experience a love like this, it is unexplainable. The only thing you can do is to give it back to Him and share it with others.
I moved to the mountains, opened a Christian wellness and massage center, and became the director of the ministry’s gym.
God led me from abuse—“dysfunctional love”—to Divine Love, and gave me a sincere heart to love others. It is all because of Him that I know what real love is and want to extend it to others. I am so thankful for His love.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.